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Sombrael SessionTexts

Session 1
The huge field ahead of you contains hundreds of tents of all shapes, colours and sizes. Even from a distance you can hear shouting, the clanging of pots, the wicker of horses and smell the fragrance of cooking meat. A slight hill rises to the northeast of the field. To the west is a massive patch of brambles with a few tunnels created by animal tracks and beyond that a small wood. To the south a double line of large trees, skirting the track that leads to the field, eventually blend into the small wood that curves round from the west. A cuckoo sings from the shelter of the wood whilst swallows flit across the surrounding fields. To the east the land is flat and mainly farmland with a few hedges. The day is warm though a few large cumulus clouds bank on the horizon to the north.

The braying of oxen and the reverberation of heavy wagons moving through the field of tents draws your attention. Several heavily-protected wagons pulled by milk-white oxen trundle along the main thoroughfare towards the centre of the moot. The wagons are all emblazoned with the same inscription - "Amargein's Artistry" - and appear to be some sort of troupe of players, as jugglers, acrobats and musicians walk alongside the wagons performing minor feats to the accompanying music. Atop the lead wagon sits a hard-eyed woman of middle years and a huge hulk of a man with a bald head and sporting a large drooping moustache. One of the players announces there will be a show at dusk in the centre of the moot.

Settling in, you discover that not all the warlords are attending the peace moot: Litheryl Elunar of the Wychwood also represents Gwyn of Ynys Morfyn; Antonius Mercurius and Ambrosius Draconis represent the Secorati warlords; Archia the high priestess of Solus is the only warlord representing the region of Gorys; Cereg of Glordin is the single representative of the warlords of Celiddon; Cymrael sports two warlords - Brychan of Dyfed and Pasgen of Powys. Three Vodenskal warlords are also here - Berka Blacktongue of Cochlyn, whose foul-mouthed speech you learn has earned her an unusual nickname, Jarged Ulriksson of Ceindiol and Calstrom Dogface of Ichorael, whose nickname alludes to his rather unusually ugly face. Two warlords are yet to arrive - the brothers Hengist and Horsa from the region of Rhyddel in northern Sombrael.

The following morning arrives hot and clammy, the humidity significantly higher than yesterday. Soon after you are dressed, you hear shouts of surprise and fear, and the great roar of some kind of animal echoes across the tented field.

Two warlords have arrived together - whispered discussion identifies them as the two Vodenskal warlords of Rhyddel, the brothers Hengist and Horsa. Horsa, a blunt-faced, dark-haired man wearing a cloak of dark feathers, sits astride a black stallion, which dances sideways slightly away from the mount of the other warlord. Hengist by contrast has white-blond hair and wears a white cloak and a strange mask of silver. Oddest of all, he rides a white bear that is clothed in barding and metal armour. Gasps of fear and wonder escape the lips of the crowd as they watch the two brothers march into the camp with their entourage and begin to settle themselves into their quarters.

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